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Aviation: Commission updates the EU list of air carriers subject to an operating ban

List of airlines banned within the EU

The European Commission adopted on 21 November the eighteenth update of the list of airlines banned in the European Union. Close and intense cooperation with the aviation authorities of two countries - Albania and the Russian Federation – has led both countries to adopt strong measures in order to control and contain any risks to safety of their air carriers flying into the EU. Therefore, no measures were necessary by the Commission vis–-vis air carriers licensed in Albania or in the Russian Federation. Thanks to further improvements in the safety performance of TAAG Angolan Airlines the air carrier is allowed to add two aircraft to those operating into the EU. The Commission was compelled to impose operating restrictions to exclude part of the fleet of Jordan Aviation in view of numerous and repeated safety deficiencies and to ban fully all operations of the air carrier Rollins Air certified in Honduras.

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Single European Sky: Commission urges Member States to improve performance of air navigation services Aviation: Progress reports show key targets for European air traffic management "at risk"

air control center

Progress reports published on 25 November on the Single European Sky – far-reaching proposals to put in place a pan-European air traffic management system by 2030 – "set alarm bells ringing." "There is a genuine risk that we will lag behind and find ourselves unable to satisfy the rising demands of air travel, which is set to nearly double by 2030", said European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport. "2012 is a make or break year for the Single European Sky and there is a lot at stake. Despite efforts that have been made, the Commission's "traffic light" assessment shows a large majority of Member States in the orange or red zones and at risk of not meeting critical targets for 2012".

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Aviation safety: new EU-wide licences to make flying safer

planes

The European Commission has published on 25 November a regulation harmonising qualification and medical requirements for pilots. This regulation will enable pilots holding a licence issued in one Member State to fly throughout the European Union without needing to fulfil any additional technical or medical requirements. The rules are based on international aviation safety standards set out in the Chicago Convention.

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Airports: Commission requests Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Luxembourg to comply with rules on airport charges

Airport

The European Commission has requested Austria, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg to adopt national legislation to implement EU rules to ensure that airport charges are transparent and non-discriminatory. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If these Member States fail to inform the Commission within two months of what measures they have taken to ensure full compliance with the law, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.

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European railways: Commission refers Germany to the Court of Justice over interoperability

Train

The European Commission has decided to refer Germany to the European Court of Justice for failure to implement common rules on achieving interoperability of European railways. The deadline for implementation was 19 July 2010 . In accordance with the Lisbon Treaty, the Commission will ask the Court to impose a daily penalty payment on Germany until the adoption of national measures.

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Maritime safety: Commission sends reasoned opinion to four Member States

Logo third maritime package

The European Commission sent reasoned opinions to Austria, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom for their failure to communicate what measures they were taking to transpose Directive 2009/18/EC on the investigation of accidents at sea. This is the normal procedure in the event of a persistent failure to communicate such measures despite having received formal notice. Sending a reasoned opinion is the last step in the procedure before possibly taking a matter to the Court of Justice.

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More infringement cases

Transport safety: Commission asks Italy to adopt rules on transportable pressure equipment

Transport: Commission asks Finland to ensure the promotion of green vehicles

Rail: Commission asks the Czech Republic to act on rail safety

Air transport: Commission refers Poland to the Court of Justice over air traffic rights

Transport: Commission requests the Netherlands and Cyprus to adopt measures on driving licences

Road transport: Commission asks Finland to act on road infrastructure safety

Transport: Commission asks Greece to act on dangerous goods

Maritime safety: Commission requests Italy to comply with new safety rules for passenger ships

Rail: Commission refers Germany to Court of Justice over railway safety

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Background

Single European Sky progress reports

Plane against sunset

The European Commission has warned that Member States and stakeholders will need to do more to ensure the Single European Sky (SES) becomes a reality. The report on the implementation of the Single European Sky concludes that more is still required to achieve full and timely implementation of the first package of legislation adopted in 2004. The main concerns relate to insufficient steps towards cross-border air navigation service provision, the lack of interoperability of air navigation systems and the lack of resources for national supervisory authorities as well as their low level of activity in monitoring the air navigation service providers.

Issues

The report provides a detailed "snap shot" of the implementation of the Single European Sky, which involves reforming the European Union's air traffic management (ATM) system.

The Commission identified in particular three areas of concern:

  • The lack of resources for National Supervisory Authorities leading to a low leve of monitoring activities of air navigation service providers should be addressed swiftly.
  • There remains a considerable lack of interoperability of air navigation systems leading to higher costs, barriers to the mobility of air traffic controllers and missed opportunities due to fragmented equipment markets.
  • The establishment of Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs), a concept of consolidation of service provision regardless of national borders. FABs still meet difficulties to be fully set up and functioning by December 2012. These blocks are essential for generating real benefits to airspace users and passengers by delivering cost savings and capacity enhancements.

Next steps

Member States are urged to confirm their commitments and to take action to make the Single European Sky implementation process a success. Failing to take measures at national level to achieve the Single European Sky would oblige the Commission to reopen the legislative packages in view of more radical solutions.

Background

The Single European Sky was launched with the adoption of a first package of legislation in 2004 (SES I) and followed up with a second package (SES II) in 2009. Although the Member States and stakeholders have already done a significant amount of work in the wake of the first package, there still remain many other measures that will need to be implemented.

As regards the second package, its successful delivery now relies on the timely implementation of its different components. Priority should be given to actions that will make the biggest contribution to performance, in particular:

  • the performance scheme (starting early in 2012)
  • the FABs (to be operational by end 2012)
  • the ATM network functions operated by the Network Manager (already in place)
  • the deployment of the SESAR programme (to start in 2014).

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Road safety: young people met in Brussels to discuss how to tackle road deaths

The winner of the road safety poster competition
The winner of the road safety poster competition

Young delegates from across the European Union met in Brussels on 24 and 25 November to come up with ways to reduce the number and severity of traffic accidents, the largest cause of death among 15 to 24-year-olds in Europe. The 55 participants of the fourth edition of the European Youth Forum for Road Safety set a strategy for the Forum's activities the coming decade, such as how to raise awareness among young people and engage with different stakeholders involved with road safety. This year's event was organised by the European Commission and coordinated by the Responsible Young Drivers foundation (RYD). It brought together young delegates involved in road safety across Europe and beyond.

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